If, like Governor Andrew Cuomo, you think it’s a bad idea to have a nuclear plant straddling a fault line less than 50 miles away from New York City, Rudy Giuliani would like to set you straight. The former mayor has branched out into the exciting field of nuclear-power public relations as the front man for a new advertising campaign aimed at reassuring New Yorkers that a Fukushima-like event is really, really unlikely.
Giuliani’s new ad calls Indian Point “among the most thoroughly reviewed nuclear energy facilities in the country,” as stats and images of the city flash across the screen. “Like you, I want to do everything needed to keep New York safe and strong. And the people at Indian Point do, too,” he continues. It’s not quite a late-night infomercial or a celebrity-endorsed spot for a used-car lot, but it’s definitely shilling, something Rudy has done a lot of in the decade since he left office, and especially since his ill-fated presidential run in 2008. Business has been a better bet. Below is a partial list of the lucrative Giuliani hustles that have produced a better return than, say, spending $60 million in exchange for zero delegates.
International Political Adviser: Giuliani has served as an adviser for serious would-be foreign politicians like Ukrainian boxer Vitali Klitschko, also known as “Dr. Iron Fist,” who ran for mayor of the country’s capital city. At a 2008 press conference in Times Square, Giuliani declared, “Reform is possible if you have the right candidate and the right set of ideas,” and said he was helping Klitschko “figure out an anti-corruption program for Kiev.” Klitschko lost, and Rudy later called his involvement “a really short assignment.”
This year he played a similar role in the Peruvian presidential campaign of Keiko Fujimori, whose father was jailed on human rights and corruption charges for his authoritarian rule of the country in the nineties. “[Giuliani] has a great record of fighting delinquency, so I think his presence here is helpful to strengthen our proposals,” said Keiko Fujimori, who also went on to lose her election.
Security Expert: His eponymous security firm Giuliani Partners is known as the mayor’s biggest money-maker, working with companies like Merrill Lynch and the government of Mexico City, which agreed to $4.3 million for a plan to fight crime, but ended up handing over less. The murder rate fell just 1 percent in 2004, and the following year, the police chief said plainly, “I am no fan of Giuliani.”
Another client was the Bernie Madoff–linked asset-management firm Nine Thirty Capital, which brought on Giuliani to “help restore investor confidence in the financial system.”
The former mayor’s group is now working to prep Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics.
Law Partner: Although he doesn’t practice, and has instead focused on recruitment, Giuliani has been a partner in the Houston firm Bracewell & Giuliani since 2005, with a guaranteed base pay of $1.2 million per year. Perhaps he could weave the experience into a Law & Order spin-off?
Speeches: Although he could once command up to $100,000 for a speech, that number dipped closer to $25,000 as his time as a leader — and September 11 — became a more distant memory. When you book Rudy, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. In the words of the always-quotable Joe Biden, “There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun and a verb, and 9/11.”
Or now, for a reasonable fee, Indian Point.
Here’s the new commercial: